United CEO Oscar Munoz is quite the prolific scribe.
My go-to FA (who also said a new international route from LAX will be announced later this week) sent me the following note Munoz sent to employees earlier today to commemorate the U.S. Memorial Day holiday:
Dear United family,
Almost 150 years ago, in 1868, groups of Civil War veterans gathered at cemeteries to decorate the graves of those who, as Abraham Lincoln said at Gettysburg, gave the last full measure of devotion in service to our country. As we mark this Memorial Day, we remember all those Americans who served and sacrificed.
At United, we have a privileged perspective from which to appreciate the struggle and supreme sacrifices that made our free and open world possible. We need only glance out the airplane window as we fly over battlefields that were won one painful, costly inch at a time; or, as we trace the shipping lanes that fed the arsenal of democracy across the oceans; or, as we pass over beachheads where the cause of freedom would claim its foothold.
From the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Pearl Harbor to Arlington to Normandy to Flanders — so many of the places we connect around the world hold memorials to the women and men whose sacrifice expanded the horizons of our freedom and deepened the meaning of its obligations.
To walk among the gravestones of American cemeteries is not only to pay homage to those who died, but also to bear witness to what they fought and died for. As the dates on the stones change with each successive era, so too does the diversity of those who have been laid to rest there. Names reflecting heritages from around the world mark the arrival of new generations of immigrants to our shores, dreamers who believed in the promise of this country and were willing to fight for it.
A growing array of various religious symbols testify to the ever evolving richness of Americans’ faith. And the endless rows of white stones remind us of what we can accomplish as Americans when we work together toward a common cause. Those countless uniform stones, each honoring a unique individual, when glimpsed as a whole give expression to our common civic faith: “E pluribus Unum”. Out of many, we are one.
Surely, what our country needs today is to remind ourselves of that abiding, eternal lesson. That is what we owe in return for the sacrifice they made for us.
Let us keep those we’ve lost in our hearts, care for those they’ve left behind and renew our collective faith in the future they gave to us.
Munoz argues that the way to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice is to take seriously the national motto of E pluribus Unum “Out of many, one” by working together to create a better world around us.
Certainly in this era of division such sentiment is appreciated. Nevertheless, the question remains: what should our common cause be?
That’s not exactly clear this Memorial Day, but I’ll make a suggestion: for starters, treat others the way you want to be treated. We all could probably do a better job of that, myself included.
Enjoy the BBQ.